March 24, 2020 – by Paula Knutson

One of the joys of retirement has been discovering our new community’s gems. How wonderfully surprised we were to have lunch one day at Farm Table’s restaurant after biking the Stower Seven Lakes Trail. Then, we attended an artist’s reception featuring beautiful paintings of rural landscapes and farms, an absolutely inspiring and delightful experience! That led to attending several cooking classes, learning more about Farm Table Foundation’s mission of education, research, and training, and volunteering. We have yet to explore/experience the barn concerts and events but are looking forward to doing so this summer. Paula and Don volunteer at Farm Table.

Farm Table Foundation is an inspirational organization that provides multifaceted benefits and opportunities. Local food production supports local farmers and our communities–and the preparation of healthy food benefits us all.

One of the reasons Farm Table’s work inspires us is that both of us have farming roots. My (Paula) mother grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm. She cooked from scratch from childhood and well into her 90s and continues to bake pies in her home in Florida. Some of my fondest memories include helping in my grandmother’s and mother’s kitchens. I still use many of their recipes today. Gathering family and friends around home-cooked meals is one of my favorite things to do. I (Don) was raised on the family farm in far northwestern Minnesota and recently retired after a career of managing Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) entities. I am proud of MFU’s history of supporting family farmers and local food production and offering employment programs for older and lower-income rural residents.

We look forward to continuing to support Farm Table, a wonderful local asset!

More about the Knutsons: Paula and Don lived for 37 years in St. Paul where they raised their two children. Paula is a retired special educator from St. Paul Public Schools; Don is a retired Program Director. Five years ago, they moved to the beautiful St. Croix River Valley and are joyfully anticipating the arrival of their first grandchild in June.